Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Times, They Are a Changin'

More victories for the public display of the Ten Commandments: Federal judges in Oklahoma and Kentucky have recently ruled that displays in those two states can stay. And, in Idaho, the state supreme court affirmed citizens have the right to decide whether they will return a previously removed Ten Commandments display to a public park. It’s too early to claim total victories given the histories of appeals in these situations; still, these recent developments may indicate a change is in the air.

One thing I must keep reminding myself of is the humanity of federal judges. Yes, they are human! I’ve gotten to know a few and they are every bit as human as you and I. That means they too are affected by the zeitgeist (for good or bad). And the zeitgeist has changed dramatically over the last several years. The ACLU’s reign of terror went on unchallenged for half a century, but not any more! Americans are rising up and facing down this out-of-control bully. We as a people don’t like unaccountable ideological groups to have unfettered power. Americans know instinctively that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Americans are sending a strong message to the federal (and more and more state) courts: Interpret the law as the people have passed it—not as the ACLU would have it!

There’s also more information available to the public on the whole question of the so-called “separation of church and state.” A bolder generation is taking on the elitist orthodoxy that has mesmerized academics and terrified local school officials. The new thinkers are constructively critical of old assumptions built on a great deal of pure propaganda.

A few months ago Faith and Action sponsored the Reese Roundtable on Capitol Hill, a “new forum for promoting the timeless principles that informed our American founders.” Members of congress, their senior staff and public interest advocates listened to inaugural guest lecturer Dr. James Hutson, head of the archives division at the Library of Congress and premiere historian on Thomas Jefferson’s infamous 1802 letter to the Danbury Association of Baptists, from which the US Supreme Court would mine the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state.” Dr. Hutson demolished the fictions created in part by the High Court, and later by anti-religious forces. He demonstrated from Jefferson’s own previously illegible margin notes in the drafts of the letters, and from Jefferson’s actions following his dispatch of the missive, that neither he nor our other founders ever meant to purge religion, religious institutions or religious people from the public square. Quite to the contrary, the Founders looked to religion to do what government could not—most significantly, govern the conscience and thus, behavior.

All this to say we seem to finally be righting the ship of state after it has listed dangerously left for 50 years on the question of faith in the public square. But, I dare not simply credit the dissemination of information for this significant change. There is no doubt God is hearing and answering the prayers of His people. He promised to do so, and—much to the chagrin of the ACLU crowd—He fulfills His promises!

On to the next public display of God’s Word! The more the Word is seen and read, the more these changes will come! Hallelujah!

1 comment:

Jeff Wismer said...

Times are changing...that's true actually, the more arrogant, agressive, and confident the 2% of Religious Fanatics are getting the more their ridiculous lifestyle will be exposed to the other 98% of America that doesn't want anything to do with your radicalism and unhealthy behaviors.